East Main improvements on Portsmouth Town Council agenda for Monday at PHS

Levesque will request earlier vote on roundabout be rescinded

By Jim McGaw
Posted 12/7/23

PORTSMOUTH —   A member of the Town Council is seeking to cancel the body’s Nov. 30 vote regarding the R.I. Department of Transportation’s (RIDOT) plan to build a roundabout at …

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East Main improvements on Portsmouth Town Council agenda for Monday at PHS

Levesque will request earlier vote on roundabout be rescinded

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — A member of the Town Council is seeking to cancel the body’s Nov. 30 vote regarding the R.I. Department of Transportation’s (RIDOT) plan to build a roundabout at the intersection of East Main Road and Turnpike Avenue, in front of Clements’ Marketplace.

Another member, meanwhile, wants RIDOT to rethink its improvements to that intersection for a future solution, while continuing with the planned resurfacing on the bulk of East Main Road.

Under an agenda item to be considered at the council’s Monday, Dec. 11 meeting entitled “Discussion regarding pavement improvements — East Main Road,” council member Charles Levesque will request to rescind the earlier vote which requested a meeting and additional information from RIDOT regarding the roundabout. 

In its place, he wants the council to respond to RIDOT’s plans “in the affirmative to the proposal to construct a roundabout” as indicated in a Nov. 22 letter from state transportation officials.

During a Nov. 30 meeting attended by hundreds at PHS, 30 residents spoke out about the roundabout — nearly all of them opposed to the proposal. 

At that meeting, the council voted 5-1 to request more information from RIDOT as well as a meeting with transportation officials within two weeks in order to acquire more information so the council can serve the best interests of its citizens. The governor and the local legislative delegation were to be cc’d on the council’s response. 

Levesque voted with the majority, despite voicing strong support for the roundabout throughout the meeting. Daniela Abbott, who said the roundabout was needed to improvement traffic safety at a dangerous intersection, was the dissenting vote.

Anticipating another large turnout of residents, the council has moved Monday’s meeting to the Portsmouth High School auditorium, where the Nov. 30 gathering was also held. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.

‘Re-engineering’ requested

Under the same agenda item on the East Main Road paving improvements, council member Keith Hamilton has his own request of RIDOT. 

He’s asking the department “continue with the planned resurfacing of East Main Road from Hedly Street to the Middletown town line and reengineer the Turnpike stormwater solution, intersection improvements, sidewalk installation and resurfacing into the TIP (State Transportation Improvement Program) within the next 10 years.”

You can view the full agenda for Monday's meeting here.

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